How much should I spend on my refurb?

Q.  I have just bought my first investment property which I am very excited about, but a few colleagues are saying I am going way over the top with the renovations and the furniture considering it is a rental property. I am of a different opinion and feel that if I refurbish to a high standard it will last longer and be more appealing to tenants. Who’s right?

A.  Interesting, and definitely something to be carefully considered. On the one hand whenever you purchase a property whether as a home or an investment it does give one a super buzz and great sense of achievement and if you are financially able to refurbish and fit out the place to a very high standard then why not. On the other hand, you do need to consider that this is a working machine for you so its important to remove your personal attachment to the property and look at it through the eyes of a savvy business person or property investor. Its also super important that you consider the property you have bought too, if for instance it is in the high end of the market where tenants expect high quality in return for high rents then of course, do go ahead and ensure that it stands out from the crowd, that way if there are a few available around in your price range in your area at the time yours becomes available to rent it will be your property that gets snapped up first. Tenants are always happy to pay a little bit extra for a property that is in excellent condition and benefits from high end furnishings and fittings. However, if you have bought at the lower end of the market then also consider that the rents may not warrant the level that you are going to, and it won’t necessarily attract the desired type of tenant either. Student accommodation for instance is usually fitted out in basic but functional fittings and furnishings just because a young person is not looking for a glamourous home that perhaps a 20 something with their first job in London may be. All in all, I would suggest that common sense prevail, I personally am not a fan of a cheap make over nor furniture as it will fall to pieces after a few tenancies and you will need to put your hand back in your pocket again within a couple of years. So, find the balance, go for good quality fittings that doesn’t cost the earth and purchase long lasting good quality furniture that is fit for purpose and you cant go wrong.

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